The Angry Pie Dish?

It’s been awhile since my last post. There are four drafts waiting to be completed. However I’ve been blessed with lots of word-of-mouth referrals (thank you all) and have been teaching development classes and mentoring several individuals There are so many wonderfully gifted people who just need the encouragement–and the freedom–to trust and develop their talents. It’s been a joy to provide that opportunity.

But this is a story I must share, In the past I’ve written about residual energy and how spirit can remain attached to people, places and things by this energy they “leave behind.” This is a delicious example. Pardon the pun.

A colleague in Pennsylvania has been sharing several of her amazing dessert recipes with me. One in particular looked irresistible. We’re in the height of cherry season now, so it was a no brainer to try her cherry clafoutis, or tart. The only thing I didn’t have was a glass pie dish.

Cherry Clafoutis

Off I went to my favorite second hand store, which always carries an ample supply of cooking and bakeware. The manager, Miriam, greeting me at the door. “I’m looking for a glass pie dish, and I’m sure you’ll have one.” Of we went to all the shelves stacked high with corningware, dish sets, omelet pans, tea sets, cups and saucers, bundt pans, and the ever present fondue kits. Not one glass pie dish to be found. “Hmm,” Miriam put her finger to her lip narrowed her eyes, and was clearly thinking something over. She looked at me with a smile. “Wait here,” she said before dashing off to the store room.

She returned with the perfect ten inch pyrex pie dish against her chest. “Look, I’ve had this in the back for a few months. It was my grandmother’s apple pie dish,” she explained in a soft voice. “She must’ve made a hundred apple pies in that dish. No one has asked for one before, and you are a frequent customer….” I was very touched. “Miriam, this must have some sentimental value,” I replied. She shrugged. “Heck I’m not much of a baker…I’ll never use it,” she said running her fingers along the edge of the dish. “Here, you take it.” She handed me the dish, and shooed me out the door without charging me.

I got home, washed the pie dish, and excitedly organized all of my ingredients the way they do on cooking shows. It always appeared ridiculous but in real life having your sugar, flour, baking soda etc. all separated in small dishes is neater, and feels more efficient.

From the minute I started working on the recipe, the oddest things started to go wrong. First, I sliced my thumb as I was stemming and pitting the cherries. Not once but twice. Ok, a bit of paper towel and a couple of band aids later, two sticks of butter literally exploded in the microwave after just 20 seconds. YIKES. What the heck? I do this all the time and it had never happened before. It was a mess and a half. Use your imagination.

I couldn’t shake this feeling that I wasn’t alone. But I was too busy cleaning up the mess, and trying to get the egg batter evenly poured over the cherries to pay it any mind. The oven was pre-heated, and I easily slid the dish into the oven’s sweet spot and set the timer.

After 45 minutes it smelled heavenly. When the timer buzzed, I found my potholders, cleared my stovetop, opened the oven and reached in to bring out an amazing looking dessert. In a split second, the dish flipped backwards into the oven, dumping its contents everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Even on my shoes. In shock I stared down at two pounds of steaming hot cherries. WTF. “This did not just happen,” was all I could say, over and over again. I put the pie dish on the stove top and began the three our task of cleaning up the stove, the floor and, yes–the microwave.

Yesterday as I was driving passed the second hand store I circled around and pulled in front. Miriam was behind the counter.

“Hi! How did your apple pie turn out?” I laughed, “not so great.” She looked sad. “I was making a cherry tart and the whole darn thing flipped over in the oven.” Poor Miriam was horrified. “Oh no, are you ok?” “I’m fine, there any possibility you might have your grandmother’s recipe for apple pie?”

In my infinite wisdom I ignored all the little (well, not so little) warnings that something wasn’t going right with my plans for the cherry dessert. I’ve heard so many stories about residual energy messing with inherited cars and houses, and even jewelry boxes that won’t unlock, you’d think…oh well, Live and learn.

Blessings, Edward

And Then There’s Steve….

Disclaimer.  This post is a composite of different experiences, uncannily similar in their presentation. That’s all I’m going to say.

Melanie visited with me last winter, close to the first anniversary of her young husband’s tragic passing. She brought a few personal effects and photographs.  Immediately I was struck by cigar smoke and a very strong personality, with every intention of controlling his widow’s experience with me. 

This was a first for me.  At the beginning of readings, I have been occasionally criticized, chided, ignored, dissed, and even insulted from those on the other side.  If a loved one who has passed is a disbeliever in “this stuff,” or not ready, or uncomfortable, those initial reactions usually pass as the reading progresses.  But this guy… 

Melanie looked at me curiously, and then started to laugh herself into tears.  “Okay I think it’s fair to say you’ve met my husband.”  With hesitation, I described a guy who was bigger than life, controlling, moody, but also the happy-go-lucky “go to” guy for everyone he knew. Was he military? That caused Melanie to laugh to the point of doubling over. “I’m sorry, I’m probably not supposed to be laughing,” she apologized. She pulled out an envelope with more pictures, selected a few, and gently turned them to face me. It was Steve, in each picture wearing a different military uniform, with Melanie at his side dressed as a dance hall girl, a flapper, and a nun. Halloween.  The ever present cigar was either clenched between Steve’s teeth, or in his hand in every photo.

I shared with Melanie my feeling that Steve was trying to compartmentalize the information he was sharing, and feeding it to me with a sugar coat. She nodded. “I’m just happy that he came through.  I’ll take the sugar coating. I always have.”  Steve apologized for his unexpected departure, and expressed his deep love for his wife.  He also said something about his Yankees baseball jacket. That did’t mean much to her–at the time. She left feeling some comfort and closure. 

A couple of months later I heard from Melanie, and she was in quite a state.  “You may think this is crazy but I think Steve is still trying to control me.”  She met someone, and the guy, Jim, had moved in. It was comforting to have a man around, and it certainly helped her feelings of loneliness. “No sooner than he unpacked, weird stuff started to happen. Closet doors falling off sliders when we weren’t home, electrical nuisances, a doorknob coming off,  just ridiculous stuff.”  She added,”Jim also swore up and down that someone was  going through his underwear drawer, and he was convinced it was Steve.” 


Melanie sighed. “Jim was embarrassed that he couldn’t fix things. In fact he made them worse.  Steve was so handy.” So, Jim contacted a handyman who had recently left his card in their mailbox. He let Melanie deal with the repairman. “He was really nice, and kinda flirty until he saw Steve’s baseball jacket in the closet he was repairing.”  I heard a deep, sad sigh. “Jim was really convinced it was Steve messing up things, so he moved out.”  Hmm.  “How do I get Steve to back off, and not mess up my relationship with Jim?” Melanie sounded desperate.  I had to call the repair guy again to replace my darn garage door opener.” Jim hadn’t returned his remote either. Big hmmm.

“It sounds like you’re convinced it’s Steve too,” I responded. She replied matter of factly. “Honestly, I have no doubt.” I thought about our reading.  “Well, if that’s the case, he either disapproves of Jim or is protecting you, or trying to tell you Jim’s not the right one. What was it that Steve said about the baseball jacket when you were here?”  Melanie gasped.  “Jeez, how could I forget THAT? Oh my gosh…” I waited this one out.  “Oh Edward, I’m such a dummy!  Jim isn’t a great match for me. I just–I’ve been scared, you know?  SHOOT!” 

I heard a strange sound. “Are you slapping your forehead?”  Melanie laughed, “Edward, the repair guy–he was really curious–he saw boxes in the garage, stuff I’m going to donate, and he wanted to make sure I wasn’t tossing out Steve’s Yankees jacket!”  Again, I waited. “Edward you’re being too quiet.”  “Well, I thought you were about to have an epiphany and you don’t need my help with that.”  She sighed. “I’d like to go out with David–the repair guy–but the relationship with Jim is hanging over my head.”  “Melanie, the only thing over your head right now is Steve trying to take care of you. You can call it whatever you want, but I think he’s being protective, not intrusive.”  She was quiet. “Well Edward, I gotta go. I think I’m going to accept David’s invitation to a baseball game tonight.”  “David–is he the handyman?”  “Yup.  I’ll let you know how it goes.”

WAIT.  This is the best part. Melanie went to the game with David, and saw a familiar face at the concession stand. It was her first boyfriend from high school–wearing a Yankees jacket. “We talked for two innings! One thing lead to another.” They dated for a few months, and Melanie accepted his marriage proposal.  “Oh David?  He’s dating all the single women in the neighborhood.”

What we may experience as the intrusive, inappropriate behavior of a loved one in spirit may simply be their attempt to protect you. Maybe even coax you in the right direction.  Now I’m gonna make a bowl of popcorn and watch GHOST again. 





“Let It Go”

..are three of the hardest words I’ve ever had to share with a loved one desperately seeking closure.  When there has been an accidental or traumatic death, mysterious circumstances, or unanswered questions, those left behind are grief-stricken and feeling helpless.  Is there someone we can blame, something to know, something they could have done?  Anything, any little scrap or detail, would be better than nothing. Anything would be better than being told to “let it go.” 

But spirit, as a part of the divine wisdom of the universe, wants loved ones to know “I’m okay now; you need to be okay too.”  The clients’ tears I help wipe away are not Disney-inspired. There is no happy ending.  I feel the raw ache of being denied closure by the one person they had hoped could provide it. 


Samuel came to me with a picture of his daughter in her high school graduation gown.  She was absolutely beaming, holding a young man tightly around the neck. I was filled with warmth and happiness, and felt her holding up an engagement ring.  Father told me that she was only 18 when she died and, he added tearfully, “had her whole life ahead of her.” Jonah, the young man in the photo, had been dating Grace just six months when he declared to his friends she was “the one.” He wanted to get married before he went off to active duty in the Marines. Grace’s father was hesitant. He didn’t think his daughter would accept the proposal, so he gave Jonah his blessing. 

No one except Jonah and Grace knew what happened the night she died. “He got a ring, and he took her out on this country road to some old farmhouse, and they climbed onto the roof,” her father’s eyes were burning with anger. “He had a put a blanket, and a cooler and a lantern up there earlier in the day.” he said, shaking his head. 

“Jonah’s truck came flying up our driveway after 9 p.m.,” Samuel recalls. “He was covered in dirt and dust and had bloody scratches on his face. He said there had been an accident.”  According to Jonah, Grace had accepted his proposal and they were lying side by side on the blanket looking at the stars when the roof caved in. “He says Grace dropped down, just swallowed up by the hole in the old roof,” Samuel stared off into space.  “Jonah says he climbed down to the ground and kicked in the farmhouse door. He says he had to push his way through rotten wood and trash to find her.” 

Suddenly Samuel turned to me and said, “I wanna know if that boy killed my Grace when she turned him down.”  Once again, a client had left me speechless. I had absolutely no sense of violence, and the young lady appearing to me was radiant. She had one message for her dad. “It was an accident, I’m okay, please let it go.”  Dad pounded his fist on the table before collapsing in tears. This poor man wanted clarity and closure. And he was very angry. There had been an investigation, and her death was ruled an accident. But Samuel wasn’t satisfied.

I had one question. “Was she wearing the ring?”  His jaw trembled just a bit, then he looked away.  “Yes, she was.”  “Samuel,” I reached for his hand and closed my eyes, “Grace died very happy. She wants you to know that. And,” I added, “she wants you to forgive yourself.”  Samuel broke. “I gave Jonah my blessing, It was my fault they were up there. It was all my fault.” “Samuel, she is showing me fireflies, and she says to stop looking for them, because she’s always with you.”  “Dear Lord,” Samuel exclaimed. “I painted little fireflies all over her bedroom ceiling when she was ten.” He understood that she was telling him to let go.  At my encouragement, Grace’s father reached out to Jonah by mail to express his forgiveness. 


Michele came to me distraught over “recent losses.” She handed me a nondescript key ring with a Jessie name tag, and a photo of a man who looked about twenty five.  “His name wasn’t Jessie,” I said with certainty, but puzzled. She said nothing. Instantly, I saw this young man at a carnival with a little boy on his shoulders. “Is his son with him? Is he Jessie?”  Her big brown eyes welled with tears. I felt shaken, as often happens when a death has been violent. I heard screeching and the crush of metal on metal, then I saw Billy holding Jessie’s hand, looking curiously in the window of an overturned car.

“There was an accident,” I acknowledged. “But there were others in the car?” “His wife and baby,” Michele looked at her fingernails. “They survived the accident. That was two years ago.” She explained that she had blamed her daughter in law for the accident. “She swerved to avoid hitting a dog in the road, and my son and grandson died as a result of her choice.”  Michele was tight lipped. I held the keys and the photograph. The words just spilled out. “Mom, please let it go. We are okay. It was an accident.”

“I CAN’T LET IT GO!” Michele was furious. I sat with her quietly for some time as she considered, and rejected, and reconsidered what had been shared.  “I’ve held onto this anger for so long, it’s killing me. I want to let it go. I feel like maybe she was driving to fast, or was distracted, or she’s not telling me something,” Michele grasped for an explanation, for comprehension, but it would never bring back her loved ones.  “I know Junior misses his meemaw.  I haven’t seen my grand baby since Christmas.”  Michele explained that things had been very tense with Randi, and there had been some harsh words over the holidays.  Again, Billy was there saying “Mom I love you, I love Randi, you are my family. Please let it go.” 


I got a message from Michele that she saw Randi in the market the day after our reading.  There are not accidents. “I texted her and asked if we could meet by the produce as we were both headed in that direction.”  Michele and Randi fell into each other’s arms for the longest time and cried.  In the infinite wisdom of spirit, we need to listen, let go of the resentment, and the anger, and the need for closure that might never come.   Let go of one hand, and take another.



Blessings, Edward



The Universe Has Spoken (Or Was it My Stomach?)

Gina, a grieving 47 year old client from out of state, called me a few months ago. An award-winning novelist, she was distraught and unable to work.

“I’m not sure where to begin. There’s been so much loss.  And I need to finish writing a book,” she explained. “I’m totally terrified that I will miss my deadline.” Even though she wanted to connect with loved ones who had crossed over recently, she was more concerned about being stuck, and the possibility of failure.

As she was talking I was getting the image of a high diving board, and a young girl nervously standing at the edge, looking down. A metaphor, I thought. So I shared it with Gina.  She was stunned.  “I competed in diving competitions in high school.” It was my turn to be stunned. “OK I was given that image for a reason.”



“Yes,” she said slowly, “I had one time, after a bad dive, that I was literally paralyzed on the board.  I stood there for what felt like an eternity in front of all my teammates, parents and coaches.” I asked her what happened.  “Suddenly I heard my parents’ voices above everyone else. ‘You got this baby!’ they shouted, over and over.” I heard Gina sobbing. “Suddenly I felt warm all over and, boom, I bounded off the board and made the best high dive of the competition.”

I closed my eyes, and saw a woman with curly red hair and a bald man clasping hands victoriously in the air. “That’s mom and dad,” Gina said.  I was given the name Joseph, but it didn’t seem correct. “My maiden name, the name on the diving trophy, is J-O-S-E-F.” She laughed.

This brought me back to the book. “Gina, your parents died recently, and very close together.  You’re still grieving a terrible loss.”  She sobbed until she could catch her breath. “They were always there, cheering me on, encouraging me, making me feel like I could do anything.”

“So,” I surmised, “you are at the edge of the diving board with this book.” “Yes, and they are not here.”  I gently corrected her.  “Oh no Gina, they are with you in spirit. That’s why they showed me the diving board. They’re saying, ‘You got this baby!’  They know what you need to hear right now. Your parents instilled in you the courage and confidence to take on big challenges.” 

“When mom was dying, she took my hand and told me not to worry, that I was always going to be great, but I didn’t have to be the best all the time,” Gina shared. “Edward, I’m getting that warm feeling now that I had on the diving board.”  I really didn’t have to say anything else.

Through her impossible grief, Gina held onto the belief that her parents were cheering her on, and she finished the book on time.


I was really able to relate to Gina’s story.  We all experience blocks from time to time.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to complete a blog entry.  Many have been started, and I have an abundance of information and experiences to share. However—I have been blocked, and unable to complete any of them.

Sometimes life derails us.  At other times, we derail ourselves. There are distractions aplenty; other things that need doing ‘right this minute.’  And the minute lasts just long enough to keep you from doing whatever it is you really need to be doing. Or should be doing. Or want to be doing. And then there are all the subconscious doubts and fears…fear of failure, fear of success, fear of disappointment with thee outcome…

But when LIFE derails us with the unexpected, or unplanned, it can be frustrating, and/or annoying. THAT’S when we have to ask ‘is this the universe—or spirit—at work?’  If it is, what do you do about that? What does it mean?


Recently for me, life derailments have created opportunities for my subconscious to “roll with it.”  In other words, I allowed my own doubts to participate in the interruption, as opposed to consciously pushing forward. I told myself I was tired, or would get to it tomorrow. I actually had the nerve to question the universe when I knew full well it was my own doing.  My bad.

Yes, the universe will interfere…as will spirit guides, angels, and our own Higher Power. (The universe also includes planetary activity of all kinds.)  Previous posts have dealt with stories about spirits interfering, almost always to protect loved ones. But we have to get out of our own way sometimes. Recently in a meditation the phrases “time to let go” and “it’s waiting” popped in my head.  (I also heard “chicken salad in the fridge” but that wasn’t my Higher Self.)  I started to make a list of all the things I could possibly release.  



I’m not done with the list yet, but the purge has begun. Things, beliefs, ‘shoulds’, habits, even relationships are being blessed and released. It feels amazing.  I’m being patient with myself, and I know that when the time is right whatever is “waiting” will appear. (Maybe it’s my writing?!)

More posts to come soon. I’ve got lots to share!

Blessings, Edward

What The Dog Saw

Lorraine could barely contain herself on the phone. “It happened again! Buster jumped off the couch, sat and stared at my mom’s empty chair, then his tail started wagging and he ran to the back door, waiting for her to open it.”  It had been a week since Lorraine’s mom passed away, and her Jack Russell terrier was giving her validation that her mom was still around. “I was sitting right there. Normally he just comes to me to go outside, but mom always took him when she went outside to smoke.”  Apparently, to Buster, Elaine’s mom was still very much alive and present.

Another client, Dave, was moved to tears by his dog’s ‘solitary’ walks along the dock behind his house. Casey would walk a few feet, then sit, repeating the process until he got to the end of the dock, where he would finally lay down. “My dad walked that dock every day, even near the end of his life when he was moving slower. He carried a tackle box as a seat, and would stop every fifteen feet or so to take a break. Of course Casey was right by his side. When they got to the end of the pier, dad would sit for an hour or so, while Casey napped at his feet.”  Was Casey still accompanying Dave’s father on his daily walk?

My first experience with animals perceiving spirit probably dates back more than 20 years, when my white Siamese cat, sitting on the back of my couch, casually tracked something moving through the air in my living room. We know our pets expressions well.  His was, “I see you, and I’m curious.” His eyes moved slowly, and stopped a few times gazing towards the ceiling. Then he looked right at me. “You see that, right?”

No, I didn’t see it. But then I have never ‘seen’ spirit. One thing is for sure, animals do. WHAT they see is a mystery. Orbs? Spirits? Other dimensions?

On another occasion, my cat came to my bedroom and let out a blood curdling ‘meoooow’ from the doorway. I jumped up and followed him to the middle of the living room. He looked up, turned to me, looked up again…and slowly tracked something I couldn’t see. This time the air was still, cool, and charged with static.  But before I had a chance to tune into whoever or whatever was visiting, the air returned to normal, my kitty turned away, stretched, and headed back to bed.

Why, then, is this titled “what the dog saw”?  Well, dogs bark. I know that sounds silly, but because I have been able to distinguish my own dog’s range of vocalizations, and because I have recently read “The Dogs of Babel” “Inside of a Dog” and “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” I have become increasingly curious about their perceptions.  Especially when it comes to the world of spirit. Animals have heightened senses that work quite differently from ours. I don’t that this also includes their sixth sense.

One of the ways we know spirit is around us is by the reaction of our pets.  Sure, spirit will move things, mess with all things electrical (and battery operated), and even occasionally greet us with a familiar scent.  But appearing to our four legged family members is a very special way our loved ones say ‘hello’ and visit with us.

In my home, I have a special corner for photos of my parents, grandparents, and other relatives who have crossed over.  Also on the shelf are special trinkets, mementos and personal keepsakes including my grandmother’s necklace, my aunt’s toy pony, and my grandfather’s pocket watch. 

 During readings, or if I am just sensing the presence of a family member in the house, my little dog Solo will slowly make his way over to the corner, sniffing, looking, investigating, until he comes to a full stop. Sometimes he gives a happy pant; more often he will give me his ‘alert’ bark, and back away.  But the timing of his interest in that altar never ceases to amaze me!  When my mom drops in, he will eventually saunter into the kitchen and stand by the fridge, waiting for a taste of her ice cream.  When it doesn’t happen, he circles a bit before retreating to his bed.  I wonder what he’s thinking.

Our pets also see spirits of other animals, and of unfamiliar humans. One week while Solo and I were house sitting for my friend and her little pup, Sailor, the two dogs abruptly jumped from their snoozing on the couch and took off, skidding on the hardwood floors. The hunt was on! But for what? I followed them into the bedroom to see only their tails wagging from behind a closet door standing ajar. There was intense sniffing, and trading of positions, and more sniffing, a lot of looking up into the clothes on hangers, and nudging shoes on the floor. I was amused, until in tandem they started barking and snarling ferociously. I stepped back. Then it occurred to me…the closet door had not been opened since my arrival.  I grabbed my phone and caught the event on video.  What a treasure!  I watched it again and again, and shared it with the homeowner. We also talked about areas of her house that seemed a bit ‘active,’ and she shared the story of the previous elderly resident who might not have approved of a single gentleman in her home.  (I wanted to upload the clip here.  But, not suprisingly, the clip disappeared off my camera.)

 In “The Dogs of Babel”, a grieving husband wants his dog to be able to tell him what happened on the afternoon his wife fell to her death at home. It’s a compelling story of love, and grief, and healing. The narrator in “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is the family dog, who shares his frustration at not being able to communicate very urgent information in human words. Sometimes our pets will alert us to the presence of something beyond our own limited vision or perception. We can only wonder what they would tell us if they could.

Love and light,







The Grateful Dead

Members of the iconic rock band have frequently been asked how they arrived at the name “The Grateful Dead.”  I’ve always been curious myself.  So I looked it up.

In the 60s, musicians were freely moving between the coasts, hitchhiking, following ‘the bread’, picking up guitar riffs, lyrics and collaborators in their travels.  This resulted in duplication of group names and song titles, as members shifted around with the restlessness of the era.  Part in jest, one of the SF-based band’s members resorted to a blind poke in the dictionary for an original name. “What about grateful dead?  ‘The soul or angel of a dead person showing gratitude to someone who, as an act of charity, arranged their burial.‘” 

I suspect that’s a little bit of rock folklore. However, I’ve met quite a few grateful dead in my work.  

Spirit will express gratitude for a multitude of reasons. For being present during an illness. For sneaking candy bars into the hospital room. For decades of steadfast companionship. And, for making sure that last wishes were carried out. No matter how grumpy, or introverted, or incapacitated one may be at the end of their journey, they are eager to express their appreciation for acts of love and kindness. And every once in a while a tale of selflessness takes my breath away.

Beatrice arrived huffing and puffing, apologizing profusely for being late. “I’m so sorry, I had to stop by the animal shelter on the way to turn in some paperwork. It was on the way and I didn’t think it would take so long.” I reassured her that we had plenty of time. She didn’t really have anyone she was hoping to hear from, but one message seemed to be coming through loud and clear.  But when you tell a client that an older man with a rather pungent air about him wants to express his thanks, and the client looks puzzled, it’s hard to know where to go from there.

“I’m getting the impression of a park bench…I think he spent a lot of time there,” I tried to offer as clarification. “He is saying ‘Bless you for everything.'” Beatrice, looking down at her hands, raised her head and her eyes were filled with tears. “It’s Joe.” She shared the story of the homeless man who greeted her with a toothless smile every morning. “He would never take anything from me, but gratefully accepted treats and food for his sweet dog, Buster.”  When Beatrice found out Joe had died of pneumonia, she fell apart, worried about the poor dog.  “I called the shelter and—” she stopped. “I found Buster in the shelter, and he was so happy to come home with me.”  She sat back. We looked at each other for what seemed like a long time. “I just now dropped off Buster’s paperwork from my vet’s office.”  Beatrice had dome something far more important than provide for Joe.  And he was eternally grateful.

One morning I awakened to the smell of warm fig jam. But there was absolutely no trace of it in the kitchen. It was a “things that make you go hmmm’ moment.  

Later that afternoon, Brad arrived with a few mementos from a female relative in spirit. While holding her glasses, I experienced a rush of warmth and the scent of fig jam returned.  I smiled. “You’re getting a really heartfelt ‘thank you’ from this woman in spirit. I’m getting something about recipes…” Not much more was needed from me. Brad explained that the woman was his great aunt Lillian, and he had collected and compiled over one hundred of her recipes into a self-published book for family members.  “She always said she wanted to write a cookbook, because no one knew how to make this-or-that the right way. Especially when it came to canning.” Her traditional gift to family at Christmas?  Fig jam. 

I’m going to sign off now, curl up with my canine pal..and a big dish of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. Be good to your loved ones in this life, and remember to practice random acts of kindness.  You never know when an unexpected expression of gratitude may come through.  Very few things bring that kind of closure when your heart is hurting.



P.S.  I came across a magical instrumental track with flutes and strings recorded by the Grateful Dead in 1975, called “Sage & Spirit.” It’s now on my playlist.





What About Me?

“I don‘t know. My sister is ALWAYS claiming to feel mama around. I never feel or see anything.”  Coral tipped her head back and looked at me hard, steely-eyed. “So tell me, why is that? Why don’t I get any signs?”  Because I had a little family history and knew both women, it was especially sad. 

First of all, communication from loved ones in spirit doesn’t always take the form we are expecting. I wrote about one example of this in my last blog.  In short, we need to set aside expectations and take off the blinders.  

Coral’s sister Winnie shared with me that, on many occasions since their mother’s death eight years ago, Coral had felt things, heard things, experienced things, that Winnie recognized as their mother’s attempt to communicate. Coral had a vivid dream of her mother, walked into a room and “thought” she smelled her mom’s perfume, and even saw her in the reflection of a glass window. ALL OF THESE HAPPENED ON SIGNIFICANT DATES. However, because her momma’s spirit did not come in the front door and stand in front of her (well, practically), Coral dismissed all of the experiences.  

I’m sure many of you reading this could give me a list of a dozen ways spirit will attempt to communicate. But as long as we have very specific expectations, we’re going to miss some very subtle signs that might take a great deal of effort from the other side.

Coral may fall into the category of “doubters” because of her expectations, but also because of her thought process.

Our state of mind can impede our ability to pick up gentle messages coming through to us.  If we are living with resentment, anger, self pity, or intense guilt, we are always surrounded a force field of negative energy.  We have closed ourselves off  from the positive energy of the LIVING, let alone our loved ones in spirit.  Please note, these are all different from any passing phase of grief.  These difficult, potentially permanent states of mind need their own healing. 

We can be clear, open, and receptive—even if we are grieving.  Recognizing the significance of a dream, or a feather on your doorstep, or a clock suddenly working after many years of stillness, requires an ability to hear that inner voice that tells us, ‘this is spirit.’  At the very least, it’s a miracle of the universe.  We have to step out of our bubble.                          

There may be people who do not experience spirit. I say ‘may’ because I have not met one yet. Sit and talk with anyone long enough, and eventually a story comes up.  If you think you have never had a loved one in spirit reach out to you, talk with a believing friend, a healer, a medium. And hugs are always good for the transmission of spirit energy between people. Hug as often as you can, and you might find yourself opening up.  It’s not just about us; it’s about ALL of us.  In flesh and in spirit.

Love and light,


The Reluctant Spirits

“WHY WON’T HE COME THROUGH?”   My client was truly distraught.  Unfortunately, I have witnessed the sadness, heartbreak and frustration of clients when a loved one does not come through.  Several have been outright angry. “If this were real, my father would give me a message!”


Reality check.  When you seek out the help of a medium, all expectations must be set aside. We are not in control of what comes to us. The spirits are. If the messages are full of familiar references or just a hello, or if the spirit appears before the reading or not at all, it is completely up to them.  Only when this reality is truly accepted can we appreciate what spirit chooses to give us. (Credit where credit is due. A cousin who shares my gift helped me clarify this language over lunch this week. xox)

Often loved ones who were deeply religious in life may not communicate from the other side.  After sitting with Mavis for a few minutes, I got the impression of an older woman with a rosary, deep in prayer,  I could describe her tight white curls and grey eyeglasses. To my surprise, the spirit made a distinct gesture of “shoo!”  I waited, but that was the extent of the communication. I was disappointed for Mavis, and apologized.  “Well I’m not really surprised. Grandmother was deeply religious, and hated interruptions of any kind,” she sighed.  I asked if her grandmother believed in ‘this sort of stuff.’  Mavis laughed and said “absolutely not!”  


Sometimes spirit will use an intermediary.  Brenda, a willowy blonde with a satchel full of mementos, came to connect with her father on the anniversary of his passing. She handed me his wallet. “Who is the Asian man, standing behind a grocery counter?”  The image in my mind was as clear as day.  Brenda was taken aback. “What?! Oh my God!”  I could tell she was piecing something together.  “That sounds like Mr. Hanh, the man who ran the convenience store,” she realized. “My dad went there every morning for years, until Mr. Hanh passed away and the store closed.”  Brenda teared up. “Why is he coming through, and not my dad?” I waited for the image of the Asian gentleman to grow stronger. There it was. He smiled and pointed to a corner where an older man was sitting and reading.


“Brenda, did your father sit and read in Mr. Hanh’s store?” The tears were flowing, but her smile was bright. “Yes my father would read the paper cover to cover, and then come home for lunch.” Brenda covered her mouth. “That is really odd…Mr. Hanh used to call my mother every once in awhile to let her know my dad had left his wallet…” “This wallet?” I asked.  Brenda smiled again and clearly understood the connection. And with that, the gentleman reading looked up and said something to Mr. Hanh, which I shared. “Mr. Hanh said ‘today is not a holiday’ and indicated that his store was open. So I think–” Brenda finished my thought, “–dad doesn’t want me treating today like it was a special day.” She took the wallet. “You know, that means a lot to me. I knew in my heart he didn’t want me to acknowledge the anniversary of his death.” Her relief was palpable. 

 Often times another family member in spirit, or a stranger, may impart the news that the loved one is ‘resting’  or ‘healing’ which can be puzzling to a client.  If this comes through, I will ask the circumstances of the death. I’ve come to understand that a spirit my need time to heal, and may not ‘be available’ communicate when there’s a violent or unexpected death, an overdose, suicide, or after an exhausting illness. I believe in ‘resiliency of spirit’ both in those on the earth, and on the spirit plane. Some of us in the flesh are more resilient and bounce back more quickly after trauma or adversity. The same holds true for spirit.  My friend Derek is 6’4″ and a solid 269 lbs., and likes to remind me that “just because a baby has been in an incubator doesn’t mean they won’t become a force to be reckoned with.”  Time heals both the living, and the dead.  Your loved one may just need some time.

One thing’s for sure.  We need to be patient, and respectful of spirit. Remembering they are around us all the time can be comforting when you are feeling disconnected.  In time, your loved one may be ready to reach out from the spirit world to remind you of how much you are loved.

Love and light,






Draperies for Heaven, and Other Labors of Love

“If Heaven is like this, I’m gonna be pretty disappointed.” Rena, an elegant 84 year old woman, was looking around the beautiful lobby of the assisted living facility which was her new home.  Rena was talking to a young blonde ‘concierge’ in a blue blazer, standing behind a highly polished teak wood reception desk. Her ID badge said “Sara.” 

“Don’t worry, the van will be here soon, ” Sara said reassuringly, but missing the point. Rena turned to me. “What’s your idea of Heaven?” I asked her. She laughed.  “Well. it’s not Wednesday afternoon trips to Walgreens and bingo after dinner,” she rolled her eyes. “I miss shopping, and doing volunteer work. I never should have retired.”

 “Sounds like you hope to be busy in Heaven.”  She considered my response. “Well, I’ve heard that people take jobs in Heaven, and I’d like to see the ‘Help Wanted’ ads when I get there!”  

I have every reason to believe that Rena will not be disappointed by Heaven. During a group reading for a family of seven, the family matriarch in spirit paid a visit. She assured her family that she was fine, and after a few specific messages she said she needed to get back to work. This surprised everyone. Grandma, it seems, was in charge of making the cake frosting in Heaven. Two of the girls shrieked with laughter. “Nana made the best frosting from scratch but would never give up her recipe!” 

Beth was very skeptical about spirit communication and “all that,” but she missed her mother terribly and was willing to give it a try.  As sometimes happens before I share my information, I hesitated. “Mom is giving me the image of a beautiful dog park, and says she’s with her dogs, and is caring for other pups waiting for their masters.” Dogsitting in Heaven?  Beth nodded as tears streamed down her face. Before Eleanor died, she had expressed hope to her daughter that she would be reunited with her dogs, Millie and Buddy in Heaven.  She got her wish.

In another reading, a teenager in spirit greeted young people who had died unexpectedly, and were having trouble understanding they had crossed over.  A female in spirit said that she guided Alzheimer’s patients safely to Heaven.  It seems there are many types of ‘guide jobs.’  Others host exquisite banquets, attend to babies, and help loved ones reunite. The one thing all of the work in Heaven has in common is LOVE. Spirits are doing what they love, with love, and for love. 

One story has demonstrated this great love for me like no other.  I sat with a mother and daughter on a cozy screened in porch on one of my visits to Kitty Hawk.   A few relatives in spirit were eager to connect, but one in particular touched all of us very deeply. An aunt had a particularly challenging life, and struggled at times to fit in, sometimes uncomfortable even in her own company. Unless she was sewing. Aunt Rosalie wanted her loved ones to know that she was very happy, and was truly blessed, sitting at her sewing machine making draperies for Heaven! 

There are many stories of Heavenly work, both on earth and in other dimensions.  I found this quote online to be quite fitting:

May you find joy and fulfillment in the work you do here on earth, whatever it may be. And rest assured you will find LOVE in your assignments on the other side.



Heaven as a State of Mind

“In my Father’s house are many mansions,” “in my Father’s house are many dwellings…” These words (John 14:2) have brought comfort and peace to millions through the years in times of strife, grief and despair. And, for centuries, they have also been the source of great speculation, interpretation, and debate.

What does Heaven look like? Does God dwell in a great celestial palace behind St. Peter’s Gates? Is His house among the clouds, as depicted in Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece? How are we, mere mortals, supposed to understand this?

There is one explanation I would like to share with you, which has come directly from some of your loved ones in spirit.

Time after time I have been asked, ‘is my loved one in Heaven?’ and ‘what does it look like?’ More often than not, spirits have shown me their surrounds before clients have had the opportunity to express curiosity. The answers are almost always more of a surprise to me than they are for the wife, niece, daughter, father or brother clutching my hand. I have hesitated many times before sharing what is being shown to me. Descriptions met with gasps and laughter. “That is EXACTLY where he would want to be!”


Loved ones have described their surroundings in as many ways as you can imagine: a big banquet, with fine linens, good friends, and food tastier than any on Earth; as a pristine white beach on the shore of Tahiti; as a spectacular natural park with wildlife and human spirits peacefully co-existing; as a family fishing boat on lake full of fish; as the best carnival EVER! Yes, as many ways as you can IMAGINE. And imagination may just be the key to your own Heavenly mansion.

Have you ever been somewhere breathtaking and said, ‘I hope heaven looks like this,’ or ‘this is heavenly’? Through my work I have come to appreciate the power of ‘imprints’ on our consciousness. There are places and experiences that bring us great joy and such profound peace that we wish we could have them forever. Suppose that’s how this works? Think about it.

The idea that Heaven is a state of mind makes perfect sense. What we hope for, what we believe, what we imagine Heaven to be like is exactly what we are given. Many mansions means many possibilities for eternal happiness, all within the same spiritual dimension we call Heaven.

So now, when I meditate, I spend a little time ‘placing my order’ for my own personal Heaven. How could it hurt? xo


Thank you, Kelly and Ellen for your blog feedback! It has been very helpful!